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The Sure Shot Entrepreneur

English, Finance, 1 seasons, 136 episodes, 2 days 17 hours 28 minutes
Successful entrepreneurs begin with the support of a few #earlybelievers. Gopi Rangan, founding partner at Sure Ventures, interviews venture capital investors in the Silicon Valley and beyond. Guests share insider stories on how they invest in early stage startups. Do you want to learn from real-life challenges, inspiring missions and important decisions by CEOs, founders, VCs, angels, and advisors? Listen to
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Story of an Up and Coming VC From Down Under

Mikey Kailis, Principal at Counterpart Ventures, as he shares his extraordinary journey from the sun-kissed shores of Perth, Western Australia, to the heart of Silicon Valley's venture capital scene. Mikey discusses how Counterpart Ventures is pioneering a new era of corporate venture capital (CVC) in and outside the Bay Area, and shares his views on the sector’s future.In this episode, you’ll learn:[1:46] From startup competitions organizer to corporate venture capital champion: Mikey Kailis’s story[3:35] Unique dynamics (innovation hotspots, success stories, and common startup challenges) that define Australia's venture ecosystem[8:15</
20/02/202425 minutes 18 seconds
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Path to Success is Never Linear

Aakar Vachhani, Managing Partner at Fairview Capital Partners, explores the crucial role of limited partners (LPs) in the venture capital ecosystem. He delves into the distinctive characteristics of venture capital as an asset class and sheds light on Fairview's role as a fund of funds, culture, investment strategy, areas of focus, and bullish stance on emerging managers. Additionally, he shares insights on trending topics that could influence the future of the venture capital industry.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:15] Fairview employs a dual investment strategy to cover both established and niche areas in private markets.[13:02] New, appropriately sized VC firms focusing on specific stages have the opportunity to generate significant ret
06/02/202436 minutes
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Make Venture Capital Work for Everyone, Including LGBT Founders and Investors

Lorenzo Thione, Managing Director at Gaingels, shares his journey from Italy to the U.S. and the pivotal life event inspiring his advocacy for inclusive venture capital representation. He delves into Gaingels' investment philosophy, emphasizing its focus on supporting diverse founders and investors. Lorenzo also offers insights for today's founders, spotlighting game-changing technologies like artificial intelligence.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:50] Underrepresented communities of founders and investors significantly influence the growth of the venture capital ecosystem[9:26] How Gaingels provides universal access to the wealth creation potential of venture capital[<a href="
23/01/202435 minutes 56 seconds
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A Global Village of Luminaries Help Founders Unleash Potential

Anne Dwane, a Partner at Village Global, shares her commitment to supporting amazing entrepreneurs working on big ideas. Leveraging her background as an entrepreneur-turned-investor, Anne underscores the significance of establishing networks early and explores the feasibility of launching a company during economic downturns. Moreover, she sheds light on the dynamic role of venture capitalists, particularly within a VC industry confronted by distinctive challenges.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:00] Invest in your networks early.[5:54] Starting a company during an economic downturn: is it a good idea?[9:43] The multifaceted role of VCs as super
09/01/202429 minutes 11 seconds
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Founders, and All Leaders, Need a Coach

Patrick Mork, founder and CEO of LEAP, shares his career journey and underscores the pivotal role of coaching in nurturing founder success. Drawing from his extensive leadership and coaching experience, Patrick imparts valuable advice to founders and leaders, addressing the intricacies of entrepreneurship and leadership. Topics covered include professional development, navigating career maneuvers, building a purpose-driven business, and prioritizing company culture. He also offers insights on finding the most suitable coach.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:18] Patrick’s real-life story of maneuvering the challenges of an inevitable career change.[7:19] Unexpected paths can lead to entrepreneurial success.[<a href="https://podca
19/12/202337 minutes 2 seconds
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Attract High-Quality Limited Partners Who Value Your Experience

Justin Dyer, Chief Investment Officer at AWM Capital, shares insights into AWM's venture strategies and human-centered approach to athlete wealth management. He talks about the critical role of networks in VC and gives useful tips for choosing the right limited partner. In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:13] AWM Capital's human-centered approach to athlete wealth management[9:14] Venture capital's role in family office asset allocation[16:15] The pivotal role of networks in venture capital[19:
05/12/202332 minutes
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Work With Your Investor to Build Strategic Partnerships

Steve Pretre, partner at World Innovation Lab (WiL), takes us on an extraordinary journey from his upbringing in Silicon Valley to becoming a key player in the insurtech and venture capital worlds. He shares the thrilling journey of starting Metromile and leading it through the IPO stage, highlighting some of the biggest challenges of starting an insurtech startup. Steve also dispels the skepticism about corporate venture capital firms (CVCs).In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:47] Discover invaluable lessons from the pioneers of the insurtech industry[7:40] The story of Metromile: “I was excited and naive enough to think that we could pull that off.” - Steve Pretre[<a href="https://podcast.sure.ven
21/11/202334 minutes 46 seconds
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VC is an Important Asset Class for Endowments to Generate Alpha

Miles Dieffenbach, Director of Investments at Carnegie Mellon University Endowment, offers valuable insights, personal anecdotes, and perspectives on the fundamentals of venture capital. He covers topics such as GP commit, navigating the denominator effect, and the broader economic trends that impact the venture capital industry.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:51] How venture capital drives innovation and the crucial role of limited partners (LPs) in this process[14:25] Factors LPs consider when selecting fund managers[22:05] Identifying positive signs of fund growth and red flags that LPs watch out for[<a hre
07/11/202339 minutes 12 seconds
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Concentrated vs. Diversified Investments: Pursuing Top-Tier Returns vs. Targeting Average Performance

Aram Verdiyan, Partner at Accolade Partners, offers a comprehensive exploration of the LP landscape and the strategies that drive success in the world of venture capital. Aram emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships with VCs and sheds light on how general partners (GPs) think. He also discusses his views on returns generation, comparing concentrated and diversified investments.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:07] Accolade’s contrarian portfolio building: leading with concentrated investments[13:06] Why does it take so long to invest in a VC fund?[22:19] Most common questions from General Pa
24/10/202338 minutes 35 seconds
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Understand Nuances of Culture to Build Useful Products

Theresa Blissing, founder of Accelerating Insurance and the Asia InsurTech Podcast, delves into the transformative potential of emerging technologies in the insurance sector. She offers valuable insights for founders aiming for success in the insurance industry, irrespective of their operational geography. Additionally, she sheds light on noteworthy trends, opportunities, and challenges facing insurtech startups, with a particular focus on the dynamic landscape in Asia.In this episode, you’ll learn:[1:54] Getting into insurance - Theresa Blissing’s life-changing mission[5:43] Insurance is everywhere[8:27] Future of Insuran
10/10/202324 minutes 42 seconds
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Put Moolah in the Coolah

Chris Douvos, founder of Ahoy Capital, discusses venture capital investing as a limited partner (LP). He explores how venture capital fits in an investor's portfolio, shares his investment philosophy, and reveals how he identifies nonconformist VC investors, especially emerging managers. Chris also reflects on recent VC landscape changes and offers insights to better the industry's future and its potential impact.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:28] Pre-2005 venture capital: An enigma mastered by just a few hundred experts. What's evolved?[9:03] Contrarian view: Concentrated VC portfolios triumph over diversification.[13:15] Ahoy's portfol
26/09/202330 minutes 53 seconds
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US-India Startup Ecosystem is Booming

Priya Ramachandran, founder and managing partner at Foster Ventures, recounts her remarkable odyssey from the tech world in India to her venture capital journey in the heart of Silicon Valley. She candidly discusses her evolution as a VC, starting as an angel investor, and passionately elaborates on the core values and principles that underpin the foundation of Foster Ventures. Priya also expresses her enthusiasm for the imminent surge of innovation poised to emerge from the dynamic cross-border US-India startup ecosystem.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:42] The advantages and responsibilities of angel investing[9:25] Key considerations when choosing an investor in the pre-seed to seed stage[<a href="
12/09/202331 minutes 33 seconds
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Create New Industry Categories

Eric Ver Ploeg, founding partner of Tunitas Ventures, talks about how his seed-stage venture firm is helping entrepreneurs raise the best possible Series A. He shares his inspiring career journey into venture capital and expounds on the three key things he looks for in a potential investment. Additionally, he offers insights into the transformative shifts within the venture capital landscape, shedding light on the evolution of his personal viewpoints.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:24] One of the hardest and most aspirationally awesome things that a human can do is start a company.[7:16] Even an experienced entrepreneur needs help raising series A.[<a href="
29/08/202327 minutes 14 seconds
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Software Will Solve Broken Systems in Every Aspect of Healthcare

Scott Barclay, Managing Director at Insight Partners, delves into the potential of software to revolutionize healthcare's flawed systems. He explores the dynamics of VC firms operating across various stages in the ecosystem, weighing the pros and cons of seed-stage investments for larger firms. Additionally, Scott shares insights on why now is an opportune time to embark on AI endeavors.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:47] What approaches is Insight Partners employing to establish the most scalable framework as a leading global software investor?[7:32] A VC's reputation is built on their interactions with founders, regardless of whether or not they get on the founder’s cap table.[<a href="https://podcast.sure.
15/08/202332 minutes 55 seconds
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VCs Help Startups Recruit Great Candidates and Catch Liars

Oren Zeev, Founding Partner at Zeev Ventures, shares his one-man VC experience, and lessons from investing in so many successful companies. Oren reveals the secrets behind his renowned Silicon Valley builder-investor approach. He also gives his perspectives on the dynamic role of a VC in supporting founders, as well as his thoughts on trends shaping the venture capital industry.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:20] The essence of being a VC lies not in having strong opinions, but in serving as the strongest support system for founders.[6:30] Why great VCs refrain from saying: "Let me know how I can help you."[12:06] Ultimately, a startup’s success depe
01/08/202328 minutes 51 seconds
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No Means Not Now; Keep Trying

David York, a founder and managing director of Top Tier Capital Partners, provides invaluable insights into the intricacies of fund of funds (FOF). Delving into the dynamic nature of FOFs within the venture capital ecosystem, he sheds light on three distinct methods of investing in venture capital. Furthermore, David offers a comprehensive overview of his meticulous evaluation process for VC firms, highlighting the formidable challenges that investors encounter when selecting the most promising ventures.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:47] 3 ways of how to become ‘the money behind the money’.[11:05] Why is it difficult to evaluate VC firms?[<a href="
18/07/202337 minutes 17 seconds
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Change The Financial System

Ruth Foxe Blader, a Partner at Anthemis Group, discusses her international focus on investing in FinTech and InsurTech startups. She emphasizes the need for investors to see beyond founders' storytelling and communication skills, and instead evaluate their potential to execute their mission. Ruth also highlights emerging generative AI trends and her outlook on the future of financial services.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:13] Venture capital is a game of exceptions and contrarian thinking.[9:27] Founder's genuine obsession with their idea creates infectious passion.[13:30] Great entrepreneurs recogniz
04/07/202329 minutes 22 seconds
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The Insurance Industry Desperately Needs Startups

Charles Moldow, a general partner at Foundation Capital, shares his remarkable journey from being a Wall Street analyst to becoming an entrepreneur and eventually transitioning into his current role as an investor over two decades ago. His captivating anecdotes leave you eager for more, whether he's recounting stories about his father's wisdom on the internet or recalling a memorable encounter with an exceptional entrepreneur. Charles also delves into the exciting market trends within insurtech and offers valuable insights into the areas to focus attention for fruitful opportunities.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:20] Charles Moldow's early entrepreneurial ventures during the dynamic evolution of the internet.[7:58] The rol
20/06/202330 minutes 45 seconds
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AI is a Mega-Trend Like the Internet, Social and Mobile

Munjal Shah, the co-founder and CEO of Hippocratic AI, highlights how a personal health event propelled him into the healthcare industry. He elucidates the potential of AI technologies to offer intelligent, secure, and cost-effective solutions for the significant challenges encountered by traditional industries. Furthermore, Munjal delves into the pivotal role that startups play in shaping the future of AI.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:38] AI - a net good or a net bad?[10:25] Challenges of integrating AI solutions into healthcare management. Who’s better positioned to provide these solutions - startups or big companies?[</str
06/06/202334 minutes 19 seconds
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The Future of Insurance is Collaboration

David Gritz, co-founder and managing director at InsurTech New York, and Bryan Falchuk, founder and managing partner at Insurance Evolution Partners, discuss the dynamic roles of different players in the insurance ecosystem. David and Bryan also give useful tips for founders to effectively manage the landscape and be successful.In this episode, you’ll learn:4:32 Are insurtech startups effectively paying the insurance industry’s huge technology debt?9:50 Why there shouldn’t be a divide between incumbent carriers and startups15:34 Innovation and value creation in insurance is possible when star
23/05/202333 minutes 57 seconds
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Build Products from the Ground Up

Tanvi Narain, an investor at Counterpart Ventures, shares her venture capital journey and the insights gained from her first investment. She offers advice on how to prepare for entry into the VC realm and provides a new perspective on the industry. Additionally, she discusses the role of women in corporate venture capital.In this episode, you’ll learn:2:35 Significant stepping stones that helped Tanvi transition from being an operator to a venture capitalist6:37 As an investor, you’re helping founders to build change from the ground up.8:50 Be valuable to your networks to succeed in venture capital<a href="
09/05/202326 minutes 29 seconds
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Let’s Demystify the Venture Capital Asset Class

Fernando Pontaza, co-founder and managing general partner at Invariantes Fund, recounts the inception of Invariantes, Guatemala's first early-stage venture capital fund. He offers insights into the growth of the Latin American VC market and shares his experiences as a multi-asset class portfolio manager.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:11] Insights from pioneering Guatemala’s first venture capital fund[7:08] Investing in both venture fund investments and startup investments: the Invariantes model[13:34] Investors who maintain a long-term perspective seek professional relationships to add value beyond just investing.[<
25/04/202325 minutes 13 seconds
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Politics is Like Venture Capital. Really!

Adrian Fenty, managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital, discusses his journey from being D.C. mayor to becoming a venture capitalist. He highlights the similarities between politics and venture capital and shares insights on MaC's unique approach to investment opportunities.In this episode, you’ll learn:2:01 Lessons about business from a former politician10:39 Why ‘hire great people’ is universal advice across industries15:09 Networks are unbeatable when it comes to looking for amazing people to work with.18:30 Lessons from fa
11/04/202328 minutes 38 seconds
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Build Strategies Around Who You Are

Alex Edelson, founder and general partner at Slipstream Investors, shares his journey as a limited partner and recounts the genesis of Slipstream. He talks about the importance of evaluating VCs based on their portfolio construction, unique strengths, and feedback from founders, and highlights lessons from common mistakes emerging managers do.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:32] 3 key characteristics of emerging managers that LPs compete for[10:56] What the best LPs do to remain top of mind of fund managers[
28/03/202319 minutes 11 seconds
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Diversified VC Portfolios Find Big Winners

Jamie Rhode, Principal at Verdis Investment Management, sheds light on the opaque world of LPs. Jamie shares insights into how data is utilized at Verdis to make informed decisions about fund allocation strategy. She offers valuable advice for building successful GP/LP relationships, and ofers her views on prevailing trends in the venture capital industry.In this episode, you’ll learn:[9:34] How Verdis chooses VC firms to invest in [16:10] California is home to the majority of U.S. unicorns, followed by New York, according to Verdis data[<a href="
14/03/202335 minutes 44 seconds
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Don’t Lose Contact with Investors, Stay in Touch

Manu Kumar, Founder and Chief Firestarter of K9 Ventures, talks about how he balances being an investor and a founder. He shares unique insights from his experience founding Carta, HiHello and his other startups, and lessons from his high-conviction type of investing.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:32] Why solo GPs prioritize deal quality over quantity, and best ways to catch their attention[9:08] Entrepreneurs need to have strong conviction in their idea and show that they will take the leap, leave everything else and start their company.[<a href="
28/02/202326 minutes 13 seconds
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Grow Responsibly With Patient Investors

David Thacker, General Partner at Greylock, shares insights from his career journey. He previously led product development at high-growth tech companies such as Google and LinkedIn and now invests in consumer and B2B2C tech startups. He discusses changes in the venture capital industry and their impact on fundraising for founders.In this episode, you'll learn:3:45 Make calculated bets during slow periods to capitalize on contrarian perspectives.12:16 Founders who start their company to solve a problem understood through a lived experience are able to build some of the best startups.18:30 How has investment decision-making changed since
14/02/202327 minutes 40 seconds
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Venture Capital Will Open To All Investors

Eric Woo, co-founder and CEO at Revere VC, talks about how Revere is pioneering ‘the Morningstar for venture capital’. Eric shares examples of how VC can become more transparent and more data driven, and gives advice on how to navigate a more complicated future VC world.In this episode, you’ll learn:[**3:23**] The value of venture capital in the eyes of a limited partner[**8:31**] How do you know you have good access to venture funds as an LP?[**13:14**] Revere’s playbook for removing barriers to the free flow of capital from the LP side[**<a hr
31/01/202326 minutes 43 seconds
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Will You Raise Series A in 12 Months?

Richard Kerby, co-founder and general partner at Equal Ventures, shares the journey of Equal Ventures and thought behind Emerging Managers Circle. He provides insights into the investment decision-making process at multi-partner venture capital firms and offers advice on how to position your business for success. Finally, he discusses the issue of diversity in the VC industry.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:55] New York’s is becoming an increasingly attractive hub for startup ecosystem players.[6:56] Equal Ventures investment philosophy and process; and why consensus doesn't lead to great investment decision making.[</stro
17/01/202326 minutes 26 seconds
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Deep Tech Startups Are Thriving

Karthee Madasamy, founder and managing partner at MFV Partners, talks about how deep tech is affecting and transforming traditional industries. Karthee shares important lessons for deep tech founders to help them move from proving the underlying technology to building scalable businesses. He also explains the MFV Partners investment philosophy and what founders can expect when they work with MFV.In this episode, you’ll learn:[1:45] Genuine continuous fascination with new technology is crucial to success in deep tech.[10:23] Fundamental questions that any investor would ask when assessing the business model of a deep tech startup.[<a href="
03/01/202328 minutes 12 seconds
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Fintech Startups Are Underdogs Who Innovate

Ryan Falvey, co-founder and managing partner at Restive Ventures, talks about how he founded his firm on the premise of helping to unblock the path for fintech founders as they grow and scale their businesses. Ryan highlights the huge untapped opportunities in the U.S. for fintech startups, and explains why there should be more venture capital money flowing in emerging markets.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:04] Can fintech startups still do anything transformational in the U.S. financial services market?[9:22] What does “this is too early” from an investor really mean?[11:20] When does Restive Ventures nod ‘we wan
13/12/202226 minutes 21 seconds
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Can You Plan for No Fundraising in the Future?

Semil Shah, General Partner at Haystack Ventures, talks about fundraising in a changing VC environment. Semil highlights ways for founders to raise investors’ interest in their companies, and explains why founders should occasionally imagine a future where they won’t have to raise more capital.In this episode, you'll learn:[**4:56**] Ask investors questions to make the conversation more interesting.[**8:10**] Build something and let investors reach out to you.[**12:23**] Do the risks you’ve taken show that you really want to be in
29/11/202226 minutes 59 seconds
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Identify an Extreme Pain Point

Tom Ferguson, managing partner at Burnt Island Ventures, talks about water investing: trends, opportunities and challenges. Tom shares lessons from his experience working with entrepreneurs in the water sector. He also explains the methodology Burnt Island Ventures uses to assess potential investments while avoiding the biases that often hinder great founders from meeting investors.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:50] Water is a tricky industry. You need to have non-obvious insights for your business idea to take off.[10:58] How sitting on the real pain point results in an outrageous founder-market fit[<a href="https://podcast.sure.
15/11/202227 minutes 13 seconds
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Be a Badass Founder

Samara Hernandez, founding partner at Chingona Ventures, talks about investing in underrepresented and overlooked badass founders from different backgrounds. Samara explains her 5Ps framework of evaluating startups and gives her thoughts on how access to capital for underrepresented founders has changed. She also gives her advice to founders as they maneuver the current market downturn.In this episode, you’ll learn:[5:34] Underrepresented founders don't need more advice. They need capital.[7:45] Is it now easier for founders of overlooked backgrounds to get venture dollars?[12:44] 5Ps of evaluating whether a company is investible or not[21:20] Downturns are a reality check for startups.The non-profit organization that Samara is passionate about: <a href="
01/11/202224 minutes 57 seconds
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Cool Technology is Not a Hot Company

Chris Kim, the co-founder and managing partner at Union Labs, talks about supporting deeptech entrepreneurs with empathy. Chris shares his journey as a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist. He explains, with real-life examples, why the founder’s character ultimately matters and shares his thoughts on high-speed fundraising deals.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:56] VCs who can share their operator experience empathetically can be of great value to deeptech founders.[8:17] The founder’s character ultimately matters.[<
18/10/202225 minutes 37 seconds
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Show Strong Metrics to Stand Out

Edward Suh, founding partner at Alpine VC, talks about focusing on metrics and data to remove biases when looking for investment opportunities. Edward elaborates how his quant-based investment philosophy helps him to objectively find hidden gems (underprivileged and overlooked entrepreneurs) that are building scalable early-stage startups.In this episode, you’ll learn:[1:27] Getting into venture capital as a service-oriented person[9:22] Can metrics and data be used reliably to evaluate early-stage startups?[<a href="
04/10/202226 minutes 17 seconds
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Listen to Remarkable People

Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist at Canva and previously at Apple, talks about defying the odds to become a remarkable person. Guy shares his interesting career story and lots of lessons along that journey. He also talks about the mission behind his podcast ‘Remarkable People’.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:34] Defy the statistics if you want to stand out.[6:22] Fall in love with stuff and you’ll have a golden touch on them.[13:08] Every successful person c
20/09/202231 minutes
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The Difference Between Success and Failure is Right Between Your Ears

Mike Smerklo, co-founder and managing director at Next Coast Ventures, shares his journey and lessons learned through his experiences as an entrepreneur and now an investor. Mike gives practical examples of how founders can prudently build a relationship with investors right from the first meeting.In this episode, you’ll learn:[7:08] Learning to silence “Mr.Monkey” in order to succeed as an entrepreneur[12:41] Why going after a bad market doesn’t work even for great entrepreneurs[<a href="
06/09/202225 minutes 18 seconds
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Break Rules, Don’t Break the Law

Jasleen Kaur, an investor at Nyca Partners, talks about how she evaluates potential investments across wealth tech, SMB technology, and ESG areas. Jasleen advises founders on how to treat regulation during the very early stages of building their startups. She also gives her views on how overvaluation is affecting the VC/startups ecosystem.In this episode, you’ll learn:[5:48] Is early-stage investing harder than later-stage investing?[8:12] Don’t be afraid to ‘dumb it down’ when explaining what your company does.[<strong
23/08/202225 minutes 55 seconds
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Tell Your Story of Why

Taylor Clauson, the Founder and Managing Partner at Abstraction Capital, talks about how he builds conviction from the founder’s ‘why story’. Taylor highlights the challenges faced by technical founders outside Silicon Valley and New York, and discusses what really affects alpha in a founder.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:38] Why the ‘why story’ is more important than the pitch deck[8:44] Bangalore is closer to San Francisco than Sacramento is.[15:12] There’s always a chance to turn a ‘no’
09/08/202223 minutes 23 seconds
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Build 12 Months of Barrier to Entry

Ariana Thacker, founding partner at Conscience VC, dispels some myths about venture capital. Ariana talks about how entrepreneurial experience influences the investment playbook. She also shares her thoughts on qualities of a founder that she thinks are more important post-COVID.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:37] Is a bit more entrepreneurial experience a drawback?[9:45] Why founders with non-traditional paths into venture are becoming more interesting to VCs[12:0
26/07/202223 minutes 41 seconds
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Distill the Essence of Your Vision

Andrew Scott, a founding partner at 7percent Ventures, talks about distilling the essence of your vision and your business into the deck. Andrew shares wisdom that he’s gained from his experience working with entrepreneurs across different geographies. He also gives his perspective of how the startup ecosystem in Europe needs to change.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:11] How the venture ecosystem is growing in Europe[7:34] Why taking money from the wrong investor is the worst thing a founder can do[14:15] Tips on how to make your pitch deck say less but be more impactful
12/07/202224 minutes 41 seconds
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Be Ready to Answer Hard Questions

Kfir Kachlon, the Co-founder and General Partner at 91 Ventures, shares his journey from being a lawyer to investing in deep tech startups. Kfir explains why he likes debating hard questions with founding teams. In addition, he points out key things founders need to do when pitching for the investor to see their startup as a great investment.In this episode, you’ll learn:5:24 The product may change, but the character and abilities of the founding team is something you can bank on.7:04 How mentorship makes accelerator programs all worth it.11:34 How to convince an investor that
28/06/202220 minutes 12 seconds
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Financial Technology Will Create a Better Tomorrow

Jake Gibson, the Founding Partner at Better Tomorrow Ventures, gives a refreshing view of how FinTech is going to touch every part of the world. Jake discusses how the market downturn has impacted startups and gives a FinTech VC’s point of view on key Web3 trends.In this episode, you’ll learn:1:32 It's way too early to say anything like ‘FinTech is overdone’ or ‘FinTech is dead’. 13:50 Does a playbook exist for raising startup capital in the current market downturn?19:48 Web 3: many entrepreneurs following the hype; investors looking for impact<a href="
14/06/202229 minutes 50 seconds
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Choose Investors Who Care

Maryanna Saenko, Co-founder and Partner at Future Ventures, talks about what attracts caring investors to venture capital. Maryanna shares examples of her successful investments in deep tech and gives useful tips to help technical founders convince the investor in the first meeting.In this episode, you’ll learn:4:13 How can caring venture capitalists help in creating a more verdant future that is more equitable for all?11:28 Why you should understand your investor’s fund term/investment timeline13:45 Bring your technical team to the
31/05/202229 minutes 32 seconds
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Stick It Out and Execute, Don’t Fail Easily

Ayush Jain, a Senior Associate at Revolution’s Rise of The Rest seed fund, shares his career journey from engineering to product management to investing in entrepreneurs that are outside the traditional tech hubs. Ayush highlights some important trends that are disrupting the healthcare industry. He also explains why the “failing fast” mantra that people ascribe to entrepreneurship can be misleading.In this episode, you’ll learn:5:13 How Revolution is making capital more accessible outside of San Francisco, Boston and New York8:57 Perseverance stems from conviction in a problem you're solving.17:04
17/05/202223 minutes 14 seconds
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What’s Your North Star?

Gale Wilkinson, founder and managing partner at Vitalize Venture Capital, shares her wisdom on building startups with entrepreneurs. Gale talks about investing in the future of work and future of learning technologies, and highlights the questions she asks founders to understand their north star.In this episode, you’ll learn:4:44 What investors are looking for when they ask “Why did you pick this business?” 6:08 How the virtual experience trend is driving innovation11:37 Themes that influence how we think about the future of work<a href="https://podcast.sure.ven
03/05/202221 minutes 3 seconds
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Improve Society Using Risk and Insurance

Joan Schmit, professor of risk and insurance at the Wisconsin School of Business, talks about risk management in business. As the program lead of Creative Destruction Lab-Wisconsin Risk Stream (CDL Risk), Professor Schmit discusses the objectives of the program, and gives examples of how connecting mentors and entrepreneurs through it is helping to improve society.In this episode, you’ll learn:7:55 What’s the role of startups and founders in shaping the future of risk management?13:01 Benefits of CDL Risk mentorship to entrepreneurs focused on risk and insurance17:56</
19/04/202232 minutes 28 seconds
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Successful Founders Are Naive Fast Learners

Schwark Satyavolu, a General Partner at Trinity Ventures, shares lessons from his many years of experience as a founder, operator, technology executive, and now an investor. Schwark talks about unwillingly getting into FinTech when he was building Yodlee, and how he got into investing in crypto startups. He also gives an interesting explanation as to why he likes investing in naive fast learners.In this episode, you’ll learn:1:52 The 2000 bubble burst forced me to (unwillingly) get into FinTech - Schwark6:19 A similar thing that happened to FinTech is happening to crypto.19:3
05/04/202228 minutes 2 seconds
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Learn to Look for VCs With Founder Mentality

Winter Mead, the founder and CEO of Coolwater Capital, tells us about Coolwater, a new organization that’s changing the way venture capital investors build new firms. Winter takes us behind the scenes to show us how venture capital works and how LPs think about the industry.In this episode, you’ll learn:3:25 Why supporting emerging managers is critical to the growth of the venture capital ecosystem8:53 How limited partners choose VCs19:05 Why the venture capital ecosystem needs more innovation.Non-profit organization that Winter is passionate about: <a
22/03/202228 minutes 20 seconds
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Is Decentralized Finance Really Getting Decentralized?

Andy Kangpan, a Principal at Two Sigma Ventures, shares his experience supporting founders building enterprise software, cybersecurity, and crypto startups. Andy talks about the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and gives real-life risk management tips for entrepreneurs and investors wishing to venture into DeFi. In this episode, you’ll learn:4:15 Risk-taking for venture capital investors means thoughtfully making calculated bets on ideas that have a clear path to sustainability.8:30 Ideas for finding unique insights into quickly growing nascent spaces12:13 Dec
08/03/202223 minutes 13 seconds
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Investing in Product-Led Growth

Paige Doherty, a founding partner at Behind Genius Ventures, shares her lessons from setting up her VC firm and writing her book ‘Seed to Venture’ about the venture process. Paige elaborates on her investment discipline and why she likes investing early in the future of work and future of play startups.In this episode, you’ll learn:3:15 Entrepreneurs who are customer centric and who have a high build velocity are able to make proper shifts when things change rapidly.5:24 Seed to Venture: A book about the world of venture, what it is, why it matters and how it works.17:18 Socratic discussion of the market, entrepreneur, and opportunity makes the
01/03/202225 minutes 45 seconds
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Choose Investors Who Solve Problems

Jonathan Heiliger, General Partner at Vertex Ventures, talks about how the startup ecosystem has changed, and explains why founders DO/DON’T need to be in Silicon Valley. Jonathan also sheds light on the problem of matchmaking. He proposes solutions for ensuring that founders meet and partner with investors who are fit for them.In this episode, you’ll learn:4:27 A lot has changed in the startup ecosystem but Silicon Valley hasn’t lost its culture of supporting people.16:05 What founders should expect when they work with investors and partners who run a concentrated portfolio.<str
22/02/202229 minutes 4 seconds
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Form Relationships with Investors Before Raising Capital

Mark Suster, General Partner at Upfront Ventures, talks about how he transitioned from being an entrepreneur to investing in startups. Mark elaborates his Lines and Dots technique for evaluating founders. He also points out some fundraising mistakes to avoid, especially when the capital market is undergoing correction.In this episode, you’ll learn:6:27 Entrepreneurs need different kinds of help at different stages of their company.10:47 Cadence, ability to hire talent, and ability to ship code are tell-tale signs of a successful founder.1
15/02/202230 minutes 9 seconds
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Founders With Long-term Vision Are Not Distracted by Public Market Volatility

Michael Cardamone, CEO and managing partner at Forum Ventures (formerly Acceleprise), demystifies the effects of public market volatility on startups. Michael gives his perspectives on the recent market downturn, and his advice for founders building B2B SaaS companies on how to manage market volatility. He also gives more details about how he looks at opportunities when he invests in startups.In this episode, you’ll learn:4:15 What benefits does a founder gain from working with a sector-dedicated accelerator over a generalist accelerator?11:50 Key things for startup founders to do to weather market downturn<a href="
08/02/202228 minutes 37 seconds
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Competition is Irrelevant

Matt Harris, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, talks of how he wanted to become a big fish in a small pond when he started investing in fintech. How has that turned out for him two decades later? Matt elaborates his practical approach when evaluating new investments, and gives tips for managing a startup’s expenses to ensure sustainability.In this episode, you'll learn:[3:36] Great investors are optimistic and empathetic when listening to founders’ stories.[6:35] Pros and cons of investing across stages in a single sector[25:41] Why should founders be careful about what P&L
01/02/202235 minutes 48 seconds
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Entrepreneurship is a Viable Career Path

Vikrant Shaurya, the CEO and founder of, shares his unusual entrepreneurial journey. Vikrant narrates how he got early believers to support him in building his first company after dropping out of college. He talks of how he has used the lessons he learned from his initial entrepreneurial failure to build a world-renowned publishing company.In this episode, you’ll learn:[1:44] I dropped out of engineering  college the day I read Rich Dad Poor Dad. - Vikrant  Shaurya[7:30] Explore your potential when young and don’t fear to fail.<a href="
25/01/202226 minutes 40 seconds
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Sell to Investors Authentically

Nuno Gonçalves Pedro, founder and managing partner at Chamaeleon, talks about founding his  new VC firm and how they’re using technology to manage investment processes. Nuno reiterates the importance of entrepreneurs spending more time to know investors before meeting them. He also shares useful dialogue tips for founders to continually improve how they communicate with investors.In this episode, you’ll learn:[5:31] How due diligence in a technology-augmented VC firm looks like[15:58] Know more about whoever you are meeting with on the investor’s side.[1
18/01/202226 minutes 48 seconds
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Bring Fresh Ideas to Improve Healthcare

Sam Toole, Principal at Primary Venture Partners, talks about opportunities for building healthcare solutions, and how building a healthcare business is different from other businesses. Sam also highlights common mistakes that founders make when engaging with pre-partner level investors.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:02] Regulatory and infrastructure changes that are accelerating opportunities for tech-focused founders focused on healthcare[10:53] What does your impatience to solve the problem mean to investors?[15:22] How to ensure that your relation
11/01/202221 minutes 29 seconds
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Create Net New Value from Nothing

Chris Wake, Founder of Atypical Ventures, talks about investing in engineers with empathy. Chris shares his unconventional ways of finding technical founders, and gives examples of startups reimagining and transforming the world through scientific innovations.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:55] Empathy unlocks technical entrepreneurs’ potential to build innovations that are truly transformative.[13:14] It’s okay to create new value from nerdy adventures: Chris Wake’s personal story[17:33] What layer of the problem space are you tackling, and why is it the right place for y
04/01/202227 minutes 21 seconds
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Do You Have Unlimited Ambition?

Zain Jaffer, Partner at Blue Field Capital, shares his journey through entrepreneurship and how he switched to investments. Zain talks about how being a former founder helps him to support the founders he backs as they scale their companies. He also highlights the need for founders and investors to focus beyond first-world problems and solve for real impact.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:24] Distinct advantages and challenges of working with investors who were once founders[11:14] Long-term returns are more attractive to VCs; so chase your ambition.[15:29]
28/12/202130 minutes 31 seconds
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Avoid ‘Me-too’ Startup Ideas

Dan Rosen, Founder and General Partner at Commerce Ventures, talks about the evolution of fintech over the last two decades. Dan shares real-life examples of innovative fintech entrepreneurs building solutions that touch customers and businesses in a meaningful way, and his thoughts on whether or not now is still a good time to start a company in the fintech space.In this episode, you’ll learn:[4:57]  Why many of the early investments in FinTech were in enablers and infrastructure[9:27] Having domain expertise is good, but passionate outsiders are doing equally great in modern FinTech<a href="
14/12/202124 minutes 7 seconds
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Do Business with Gratitude

Heather Hartnett, General Partner and CEO of Human Ventures, shares how she identifies ‘futurists’ to back them until the market sees their value. Heather talks about supporting early-stage entrepreneurs through ‘Humans in the Wild’ (the firm’s business incubator) and explains how valuation affects a startup’s future.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:40] Why VCs like to invest in ‘futurists’[9:29] How ‘Humans in the Wild’ helps early-stage founders to transform raw ideas into the next big idea[13:48] Why should founders be mindful of which firms they choose to com
07/12/202124 minutes 47 seconds
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Investing in Pre-revenue Startups

Charles Hudson, Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, talks about how he founded Precursor Ventures and why he is unafraid to back unproven first-time entrepreneurs. Charles gives useful tips for founders embarking on finding product-market fit, and shares his thoughts on bridge funding.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:57] Starting early in venture capital as an undergraduate; what you enjoy, and what you miss[8:49] Why Precursor is unafraid to back unproven, first-time entrepreneurs[11:50] $1m pre-seed funding can quickly vanish due to lack of clarity
30/11/202121 minutes 25 seconds
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Construction Technology Will Solve the Global Housing Crisis

Julieta Moradei, Partner at Hometeam Ventures, talks about their vision "to close the housing gap" through investing in ambitious founders developing revolutionary technology for the construction industry. Julieta shares an inspiring story of how they created Hometeam Ventures from a non-profit, about being a first-time fund manager, and authentic examples of startups making phenomenal innovations to improve the construction life cycle.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:01] How working with an AEC-based non-profit inspired our unique journey into venture capital[10:07] Why is the construction and housing industry hungry for innovation?<a href="
23/11/202132 minutes 13 seconds
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Beware of Regulations in Fintech

Lucas Timberlake, a Partner at Fintech Ventures Fund, talks about investing in game-changing fintech and insurtech startups. Lucas explains why he looks for founders who are coachable and knowledgeable about the regulatory requirements for their business and shares an unconventional pitch story about one of his recent investments.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:53] Fintech Ventures Fund’s unique equity-plus-debt approach to supporting early-stage startups[8:21] A unique ‘on-the-go’ pitch story where an entrepreneur pitched in the middle of a street[11:28] Investors look for
16/11/202125 minutes 51 seconds
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Good Corporate VCs Think Strategically

Patrick Eggen, Founding General Partner at Counterpart Ventures, talks about the different facets of corporate venture capital (CVC), where it has a real edge in the startup world, and why entrepreneurs should work with CVC investors. Patrick debunks some myths around CVC and shares his observations on how CVC and venture capital has evolved over the last decade.In this episode, you’ll learn:[2:33] The advantages of being early in corporate venture capital[14:23] Myths about corporate venture capital[19:28] What founders need to know before meeting a corporate venture capital
09/11/202133 minutes 35 seconds
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Put On Your Risk Hat With Debt Investors

Jacob Haar, Founder and Managing Partner at Community Investment Management, talks about debt capital and its social impact on financial inclusion. Jacob shares CIM’s inspiring mission of improving inequality through innovation lending, clarifies how equity and debt investors view startup investment opportunities differently, and gives founders useful tips for approaching venture debt investors.In this episode, you’ll learn:[1:21]  How international development experience inspired Jacob to become a credit capital investor and the type of companies he invests in.[8:43] When is the right time for a founder to talk to a credit investor?<a href="
02/11/202130 minutes 10 seconds
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Always Be Learning

Alexa von Tobel, founder and managing partner at Inspired Capital, shares how she built her first startup LearnVest at 23 and later co-founded Inspired Capital to improve access to startup capital. Alexa looks for tenacious and highly committed founders with an ‘always be learning’ attitude.In this episode, you’ll learn:[3:55] Did dropping out of Harvard Business School to start a company in the middle of a global financial crisis pay off?[11:23] How Alexa's entrepreneurial experience fueled her desire to make capital more accessible to founders[13:57] How can entrepreneurs ho
26/10/202127 minutes 21 seconds
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Appetite for Disruption: Alternative Proteins

Gautam Godhwani, Managing Partner at Good Startup, talks about the shift in consumer demand from animal protein to alternative protein. Gautam gives examples of startups that are changing the way food is consumed and shares insightful tips for entrepreneurs seeking to disrupt this sector.In this episode, we discuss:[3:33] Articulating the WHY behind your startup helps investors support you effectively[9:13] Focus on impact: the mission behind Good Startup[16:28] How is innovation different in industry-based sectors compared to software-focused sectors?<
19/10/202128 minutes 39 seconds
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Keep the Deck Clear and Concise

David Forsberg, Founder and Managing Partner at Ascent Energy Ventures, talks about automation trends in the energy sector. David shares his perspective of how venture capital fits in the broader set of asset classes, what's holding back entrepreneurship and investments within the energy sector, and offers some advice for founders who are fundraising.In this episode, you’ll learn:[6:16] Why do many traditional Silicon Valley players stay away from the energy industry?[8:23] Why automation cannot succeed without robust data collection[12:36] How can founders approach
12/10/202124 minutes 2 seconds
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Balance Commitment to the Vision with Attention to Customers' Needs

In this week's episode, Nick Moran, the Founder and General Partner at New Stack Ventures, shares his insights into his firm’s focus: investing in outsiders. Nick gives authentic examples, explains what he looks for in founders and why it’s different from other Silicon Valley venture capital firms.In this episode, you will learn:[2:23] Getting into venture capital as an outsider[6:05] Why having creative insights is more important than building the standard Silicon Valley profile to attract investors[10:07] Is commitment to the problem combined with flex
05/10/202128 minutes 27 seconds
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Ambitious Midwest U.S. Founders are Underrated

Victor Gutwein, an investor and Managing Partner at M25, shares insightful stories and authentic examples of how startups evolve in the Midwest. He also reflects on opportunities for both founders and investors as the startup ecosystem there develops.In this episode, you'll learn:[6:56] Why is it challenging for founders in the Midwest to find real risk-seeking capital?[11:44] How does a conservative mindset influence founders to sacrifice hypergrowth for modest profits?[16:23] Midwest startups should capitalize on the natural advantage of being closer
28/09/202130 minutes 57 seconds
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Show your assumptions

Galym Imanbayev is a partner at Lightspeed - a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focused on the consumer, enterprise, and health sectors. Galym has extensive investing and research experience across health sectors. He shares relatable stories about working with founders through the early to late stages of the unique, non-linear trajectory of health innovations.In this episode, we discuss:[6:52] Why is it important to focus on opportunities in non-traditional areas in 2021 and beyond?[8:32] How is building a company in healthcare different from other sectors?[18:54] How can an entrepreneur position themselves to gain from the int
21/09/202132 minutes 56 seconds
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Technology redefining the future of work

Allison Baum Gates is a General Partner at SemperVirens - a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm investing in workforce technology, health tech, and fintech. Allison is particularly obsessed with the Future of Work. She shares relatable insights on how companies can evolve with workforce changes post-pandemic. She also debunks one of the myths of raising VC funding: that you can raise funding in the first meeting.Highlights[1:07] Can you protect your career from technology disruption?[8:47] VC myth deconstruction: The number one myth is that you can raise money on a first meeting.<str
14/09/202129 minutes 40 seconds
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Just be yourself

Ben Metcalfe is the founder of Monochrome Capital - a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage software and AI-driven startups. Ben, a passionate technology geek, shares lessons from his unconventional but insightful career journey - from building websites in the mid-90s as a teenager, getting his first job as a software engineer at 18 without a college degree, and co-founding world-famous companies like WP Engine. Ben believes in enabling founders to fulfill their dreams regardless of their background, demographic, or location.Highlights[01:31] Self-taught BBC software engineer lands and shines in Silicon Valley[6:47] Silicon Valley is still the heartbeat of technology, but opportunities to change the worl
07/09/202127 minutes 51 seconds
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Prioritize cash, team and momentum in that order

Mark Fernandes is a managing partner at Sierra ventures - a Silicon Valley based venture capital firm focused on early-stage emerging technology companies. Mark invests in cloud infrastructure, security software, digital health, and data & analytics. He shares relatable lessons from his professional journey from software engineering to investment banking to startup investing. He also offers insights into his philosophy for startup success - prioritize cash, team, and momentum.Highlights[3:34] Lessons from my first venture deal: It’s better to be lucky than good, but it’s good to be prepared.[6:55] Why investors like to hear more “No, I don’t know the answer to that; I haven’t thought about t
31/08/202130 minutes 55 seconds
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It’s about people not spreadsheets

Matthew Jones is a managing director at Anthemis, a London-based venture capital firm focused on insurance and risk related technologies. Matthew shares Anthemis’ thesis-driven insurtech investment approach, and the things that excite him the most in the first call with founders. He also shares authentic stories showing why it’s difficult to uncover impactful opportunities if the team lacks someone with a deep understanding of the industry.Highlights:[3:20] Why many venture capital investors would look at you as if you had two heads when you mentioned insurance in 2014.[8:45] Two kids in a garage writing software can disrupt a traditional industry. However, to build a successful insurtech company, you n
24/08/202128 minutes 30 seconds
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Don’t wait for the perfect time

Katie Shea is the co-founder and managing partner at Divergent Capital - a venture capital firm that invests in cutting-edge technologies and scientific innovations. Katie grew up in a family where everyone around her ran businesses. While in college, she co-founded a manufacturing company, which she bootstrapped to millions of dollars in annual revenue and profitability before selling it in 2013. She shares her inspiring journey as an entrepreneur, operator & investor, giving relatable insights into how she’s able to capture value in sectors and geographies many investors shy away from.Highlights[1:13] How it’s like to grow up in an entrepreneurial household[8:14] Does the world need another venture fund?</
17/08/202128 minutes 30 seconds
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Don’t have it all buttoned up

Tim McLoughlin is a partner at Cofounders Capital - an early stage venture capital firm investing in B2B software startups in and around North Carolina. Tim gathered extensive entrepreneurial experience from founding and running startups. He is passionate about helping disciplined and tenacious founders to build dream companies. He has actively contributed to the growth of the NC startup ecosystem, serving on the board of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and as a member of the NC Idea Grant Selection Committee.Highlights[4:42] How is an investor able to empathize with entrepreneurs?[11:30] First, the ‘origin story’ and the ‘why story’.[15:01] It’s okay t
10/08/202127 minutes 37 seconds
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No is not a no. You can convert to a yes.

Kush Shrivastava is an active angel investor who has been in Silicon Valley for more than a decade. He's worked at large companies, built several companies from the ground up, and invested in many startups. While candidly sharing how he makes investments, he gives authentic stories including some failure stories often not talked about.Highlights:[4:17] From building my first company at 13 years old to Google[6:40] There’s too much data. Is this a problem or an opportunity?[9:18] Diversification: the best part of investing through syndicates and networks[15:16]</a
03/08/202131 minutes 21 seconds
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Look where others are not looking

Ramneek Gupta is the founder of PruVen Capital, a Palo Alto-based multi-stage venture capital firm that supports leading entrepreneurs from garage to IPO. Ramneek is keen on achieving both strategic and financial returns for the startups in which he invests. He shares relatable insights for entrepreneurial success based on his experience investing in the fintech, insurtech, health tech, real estate tech, and enterprise IT areas.Highlights[1:24] Why strategic and financial returns need to be synergistic[9:45] Three questions I consider when evaluating an opportunity[14:21] Investment decision making: T
27/07/202124 minutes 55 seconds
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Focus on one user, one use case, and one solution

Satya Patel is the founder and partner at Homebrew - a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in startups with big-impact. Satya has a strong operating background spanning product innovation and leadership at Google and Twitter. Now, he prides himself in being a hands-on early-stage investor. He works side by side with founders to build excellent teams, products, and the companies that they envision.Critical to entrepreneurial success is having a very narrow near-term focus of where to start, a broad long-term vision, and unique insights illuminating the path to getting there.Many startups don’t end up where they started. Thus, many venture capitalists invest in the founder and not necessarily in the specific idea being pitched.Transparency and a shared company-building (as opposed to a fund-raising) mindset ignite an incredible founder-investor relationship.Non-profit: KIPP
20/07/202129 minutes 27 seconds
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Say what your company does in 30 seconds

Sunil Nagaraj is the founder and managing partner at Ubiquity ventures, a Silicon Valley-based seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in smart hardware and machine intelligence startups. Sunil talks about how real-world physical problems are transformed into software solutions. He looks for founders with a combination of deep technical knowledge and precise contact with the first prospective customer.Clear product-market fit and go-to-market strategy show the viability of a business idea.Convert any physical problems into software problems for quicker and less expensive solutions.Investors lose interest when you take too much time to explain the context. Instead, simply state what your company does early in the pitch.Position your product through a customer's eyes.Non-profit: Astronomical Society of the Pacific
13/07/202133 minutes 37 seconds
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Convert investors from non-believers to believers

Mika Salmi is a managing partner at the European venture capital firm Lakestar. He has been a serial entrepreneur, a successful angel investor, and now a venture capital investor. Mika invests in early-stage startups in  media, gaming, and consumer sectors. He’s known for building or bringing to market globally recognized brands, talent and products.Tailoring your pitch to each venture capital investor significantly influences the success of the fundraising process.The number of investors who were former entrepreneurs is growing, thus the development of a more founder-friendly startup industry.Difficult times for startups often carry important lessons for the sustainability of the business.Non-profit: INSEAD
06/07/202131 minutes 57 seconds
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Be persuasive to convince investors, customers and employees

Hans Morris is the founder and managing partner at NYCA Partners, a fintech focused venture capital firm in New York and Silicon Valley. As one of the early fintech leaders, Hans had a successful 27-year career leading at different financial services companies including at Visa as President, General Atlantic, CitiGroup, and Salomon Smith Barney. He shares deep insights about venture capital in fintech.It’s much easier to experiment fintech ideas now due to the extensive development of the fintech infrastructure.Highly successful startup founders have shown the capability to understand the exact circumstances of the customer before approaching them with a solution.Does how you handle data give you an advantage over other fintech competitors?Non-profit: MASS MoCA
29/06/202129 minutes 25 seconds
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Start with your childhood story not your resume

Arjan Schutte is the founder and managing partner at Core Innovation Capital, a venture capital firm that helps entrepreneurs build disruptive, high-growth FinTech businesses. Arjan shares insights on solving public sector problems using marketplace solutions. He is keen on ideas that can create social impact alongside providing competitive financial returns.Good intentions don’t automatically translate into meaningful impact.Solve one problem that you have the best chance of solving.An entrepreneur’s early-life story and the cocurricular activities they engaged in are incredibly telling of their character.Non-profit: Compton Community Development Corporation
22/06/202132 minutes 40 seconds
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Great entrepreneurs are students of venture capital

Kate Beardsley is a founding partner at Hannah Grey, a Denver-based venture capital firm that focuses on the intersection of technology and human behavior. She narrates her in-depth experience on the operation side of venture capital funds before becoming an investor. Kate also exemplifies why founders should prepare to meet and engage the investor meaningfully at the start of the funding process.Rushing through the startup funding process can be a red flag for some investors.Engage the investor with questions about their business objectives to make the  relationship a two-way street.Openness and readiness to receive feedback is a key success factor for investors and entrepreneurs alike.Non-profit: Women in VC
15/06/202128 minutes 26 seconds
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Get everyone on the investment team excited about your business

Ashley Paston is a Principal at New York-based Bain Capital Ventures and focuses on FinTech. She looks for founders who can zoom in and out of a pain point, offer a unique solution, and explain how to build a successful company out of the idea. She gives insightful perspectives on FinTech trends and opportunities.Connecting with more members on the investment team means more support for the entrepreneur throughout the investment process.A founder who knows the company’s current/expected performance by precise numbers inspires confidence.Focusing on customer delight is the breeding ground for incremental FinTech innovation.Non-profit: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
08/06/202129 minutes 34 seconds
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Show empathy for your customers

Jocelyn Goldfein is a managing director at Zetta Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in AI-first startups. Jocelyn led engineering teams while at Facebook and VMware during their high-growth years before becoming a venture capital investor. In founders, she looks for real empathy for customers. Jocelyn has backed over 20 startups focused on enterprise infrastructure and artificial intelligence.Real empathy for the customers is critical to a great go-to-market strategy.Throwing a ton of irrelevant data at an AI model doesn’t make the model more useful. Data can only create real value if it is relevant and clean.Having the right people around the founding team makes big problems smaller, but the wrong people make small problems bigger.Sustainable innovation requires a combination of user needs and robust business models.Non-profit: CODEPATH.ORG
01/06/202136 minutes 34 seconds
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Foresee future opportunities from today’s innovations

Aashay Sanghvi is an investor at Haystack, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that focuses on pre-seed and seed software and technology investments. Aashay got into venture capital very early, which is against the general advice: “don’t get into investing too early”. He’s keen to find founders who are creating solutions that build the technological infrastructure for the future.Junior investors can offer in-depth context on startups because they are constantly trying to learn more about the businessEmbracing diverse skills and backgrounds in the venture capital industry can make Silicon Valley more inclusive.Almost every innovation creates second-order effects that entrepreneurs can leverage as business opportunities.Non-profit: Stop AAPI Hate
25/05/202124 minutes 1 second
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Succeed from your unique starting point

Ali Tamaseb is a partner at Data Collective Venture Capital (DCVC), a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that backs entrepreneurs using deep tech. He shares insightful findings of his 4-year long research on billion-dollar startups and their founders (documented in his new book: Super Founders).  Ali gives data points that deconstruct myths about the startup ecosystem in the U.S., and show what is/isn’t significant as success factors for founders and venture capital investors.There is no one way to startup successAbout 50% of founders have strong competitors when starting--being first to market with an idea does not actually matter.There's no disadvantage to being a solo founder or to being a non-technical CEOHolding preconceptions about the market often causes investors to miss the opportunity of backing a great company or an exceptional founder.Non-profit: Urban Institute
18/05/202133 minutes 4 seconds
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Say “Yes” more often

Jason Best is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Vectr Fintech Partners (VFP), a globally-focused early stage fintech venture capital firm. He shares profound real-life experiences showing how networking makes it easier for entrepreneurs to turn ideas into impact. He also gives an insightful story of how he contributed to the enactment of the 2012 Jobs Act that improved access to equity crowdfunding.Say yes more often to new experiences that help to build your understanding and expand your network as you wait for the right entrepreneurial opportunity.Every investor wants to learn something from the entrepreneurs’ expertise right from their first meeting.Founding teams’ ability to effectively incorporate investor feedback in their decision-making is key to achieving startup success.Non-profit: SCET and the SBEC
11/05/202128 minutes 40 seconds
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Reflect, learn and grow

Julian Teicke is the founder and CEO of Berlin-based Wefox, the first 100% digital European insurance company. He shares insightful experiences about starting early as an e-commerce entrepreneur in Switzerland, starting the fastest-growing insurtech company in Germany, and an unexpected Salesforce-led seed funding round. As an angel investor, Julian frames his investment philosophy around big dreams, ultimate resilience, and developing a vision together.If you are not passionate about the core of the business around your startup, it’s almost impossible to get it off the ground.Your personal development as an entrepreneur is closely intertwined with startup's growth.Investors get attracted to entrepreneurs who are genuinely passionate and bold about the impact they want to make.Non-profit: Jewish Museum Berlin
04/05/202130 minutes 54 seconds
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Don’t be shy. Good investors like to get their hands dirty.

Andrew Gluck is a General Partner at irrvrntVC, a New York-based venture capital firm focused on direct-to-customer, AdTech, and NextGen Commerce. Andrew strongly believes in founder-market fit and is excited to invest in startups targeting fast growing markets. He shares insightful stories of founders transforming ideas into market-defining businesses.Approaching the process like customer sales makes fundraising more efficient.To succeed in the digital marketing world, you have to build a brand around the problem you want to solve, and in the spaces your customers spend their time.Layout a creative go-to-market strategy instead of projecting outputs.Non-profit: Tomchei Shabbos
27/04/202125 minutes 39 seconds
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Win big in niche markets

Phil Boyer is a Partner at Crosslink Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focused on enterprise applications, infrastructure, vertical software, and frontier technology. As a passionate technology investor, Phil shares how he evaluates early-stage founding teams and provides real-life examples of category-defining companies. His portfolio includes Weave, Chime, Coupa, Yotascale, Descartes Labs, among others.Unlike large companies, tech startups have the advantage of flexibility; founders can quickly change priorities.The foundational story of every successful startup clearly shows the founding team leaving everything to build the company.Some of the world’s most successful tech startups started with strategies that seemed scrappy.The advisory role of a venture capitalist post-investment includes acknowledging that the founders and operators are running the business.Non-profit: Alpha<
20/04/202131 minutes 47 seconds
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Care for your neighbors

Ken Singleton is a professor at Stanford University - Graduate School of Business. Through a glamorous 30-year career in academia, he has contributed significantly to development finance and economics in distinguished teaching, research and advisory roles. Today, he mentors and supports Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in building sustainable businesses rooted in social impact through financial technology.Fintech harnesses economic rents due to economic frictions, and share these rents more favorably among users.Financial deepening goes farther than financial inclusion to provide a richer menu of financial services.There is strong economic logic for enhancing or facilitating the aspirations of our neighbors - we are all better off.Non-profit: 1 Grain to 1000 Grains
13/04/202137 minutes 31 seconds
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Turn venture blueprints into tangible, thriving futures

Eugene Zhang is a founding partner at TSVC, a Silicon Valley based early stage venture capital firm that focuses on emerging deep tech and FinTech startups. Eugene has invested in over 170 startups, including, Carta, Gingko Bio, Quanergy, TrustGo,, and Lambda School. He is always looking for visionary and articulate entrepreneurs building the next big hit in the tech industry.An extensive network with domain expertise in various sectors is critical for building depth in investments.Great entrepreneurs articulate their vision to clearly explain timing for market-entry.Robust investor-founder relationships build the foundation for turning venture blueprints into companies that shape lives.‘You move and we move’ is an entrepreneur-friendly mentality that more investors are embracing.Non-profit: Tsinghua Entrepreneurs and Executive Club (TEEC)
06/04/202125 minutes 54 seconds
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Everything is fintech

Jacob Gibson is the Founding Partner at Better Tomorrow Ventures, a Silicon Valley based venture capital firm investing in the future of Fintech. Before getting into investing, Jacob was co-founder and COO at NerdWallet. He helped develop a world-class team working to build the massively successful personal finance company. Gibson considers in depth risk analysis and unique insights key to forming an investment thesis.Investors want to hear that the founder has actually thought through and mapped out the risks to get a good sense of how to go about tackling those risks.Carefully breaking down the cost of customer acquisition is a critical part of startup strategy.Cold-pitching ideas to investors without researching their areas of focus can harm the entrepreneur’s reputation.Develop team and resource capacity for pivoting the startup strategy to succeed in the crowded and rapidly evolving Fintech space.It’s just as easy to stagnate as i
30/03/202127 minutes 48 seconds
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Every day is recruiting day at a startup

Steven Lurie is the founder of Team Builder Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that helps founders build world-class teams. Drawing from decades of experience scaling teams at tech start-ups, Steven shares proven ideas for successful recruiting and building high-quality teams. Listen to the episode to avoid common hiring mistakes founders make during early startup stages.Lack of consistent recruiting results to missed hiring plans, and consequently missed revenuesFounders must reach beyond their personal networks to recruit talent to accelerate team buildingIn the war for talent, treat every prospective hire as if they are the greatest person in the world, else they lose interest.A classic recruiting mistake is to hire slow and fire fastNon-profit: Swim Across America
23/03/202133 minutes 50 seconds
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Play the long-game to win in Silicon Valley

Homan Yuen is a partner at Fusion Fund, an early-stage VC firm focused on investing in innovative companies with a technology barrier to their business models. He gives examples of hand-on support as an investor using prior experiences in research & academia and high-tech entrepreneurship. Homan insists that honesty is key in building solid startup foundations to create lasting power.Disclose all the shiny and messy spots of your company’s progress to build trust with investors.It’s great to become a glittering unicorn in the Silicon Valley, but being thoughtful of others helps to win the long game.Proactively engage customers to achieve product-market fit faster.Technical experience in deep tech magically increases the odds of success.Non-profit: Asian Pacific Fund
16/03/202130 minutes 19 seconds
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Be efficient. Don't be macho.

Swati Chaturvedi is the co-founder and CEO of Propel(x) - a marketplace that connects investors and experts with science & technology startups. Swati shares her unique experience at the rare intersection of entrepreneurship, investment banking and venture capital roles. She is keen on deeptech  innovation and customer traction when evaluating startups. Use resources like investment bankers to efficiently manage fund raisingAdvanced conversations with potential customers are strong signals of traction for deep tech based startupsRejection is an inevitable part of an entrepreneur’s daily experiences
09/03/202129 minutes 48 seconds
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Build agile solutions for traditional problems

Vivek Krishnamurthy is a venture capital investor at Commerce Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based VC capital firm focusing on investments in the e-commerce, FinTech and Insurance sectors. Vivek is particularly interested in entrepreneurs with extensive market knowledge and practical vision for what’s going to happen in the future.The humility of acknowledging your competition helps you discover the real value your products can create.Many startups fail due to the lack of thoughtfulness on which verticals to approach first.Venture capitalist-entrepreneur relationships are not purely transactional. Real human conversations influence decision making on either side.Non-profit: Moneythink
02/03/202131 minutes 28 seconds
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No place in the world is like Silicon Valley

Geoff Ralston, President of Y Combinator, shares insightful experiences and lessons learned over three decades in Silicon Valley. He talks passionately about his interest in education technology and why Y Combinator invests in startups at their earliest stages.Accelerators have helped reduce information asymmetry and level the playing ground for entrepreneursTechnology will be at the center of value creationSilicon Valley’s culture of tolerating extraordinary failures makes it irreplaceableThe proliferation of innovation must provide solutions to world most important problems like climate changeNon-profit: Second Harvest Food Bank, AmeriCares
23/02/202136 minutes 58 seconds
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Innovate continuously to remain competitive

Cindy Padnos, founder and Managing Partner at Illuminate Ventures, invests in B2B SaaS, enterprise cloud and mobile computing startups. She shares her incredible journey as a female founder of a venture capital firm. Named one of the Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley by New York Times, Cindy cares deeply about increasing diversity in the technology industry.Founders are judged for who they are and for the people they attract to the teamIf you aren't always innovating, you're likely to be left behindThe technology you choose should differentiate your business or provide advantage in a significant wayDomain knowledge and customer understanding are among key things to find in prospective founders.Non-profit: ASTIA  and Springboard Enterprises 
16/02/202130 minutes 57 seconds
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Lower your shield and openly communicate with investors

Farooq Abbasi, founder and general partner at Preface Ventures, invests in early stage enterprise software startups. An optimist by nature, he entered into VC at the age of 19. He shares why founder openness, commitment and grit are key to investments.Career trajectory indicates long-term commitment to the mission of a startupBest VCs aim not to poke holes in the business but to illuminate risks and achieve a shared understandingHonest and frequent communication is critical for a healthy founder-VC relationshipRespect competitors but realize their weaknessesNon-profit: Diversity VC
09/02/202130 minutes 42 seconds
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Convert frustration into desire to create a new business

Sandeep Bhadra is a partner at Vertex Ventures - a Silicon Valley-based VC firm that invests in B2B software and services. He candidly talks about his career as an engineer and experiences in venture capital. His methodical approach to researching startups creates the thesis for his investments.Interesting ideas  often start with a sense of frustration about an inefficiency and a strong desire to make an impact.Cloud computing has made it possible for entrepreneurs to scale their startups from anywhere in the world. Founders don’t necessarily have to be in Silicon Valley to be successful.Being curious and outspoken helps to know experts in particular topics, build networks, find people who are trying to solve problems, and identify opportunities to make an impact.Non-profit: Lambda Legal
02/02/202127 minutes 40 seconds
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Startup ecosystem in Austin, Texas is booming

Andrea Kalmans, founding partner at Lontra Ventures, launched an investment firm with her husband and invests in 2 to 4 startups every year. She gives real-life examples of startups from her portfolio in healthcare, enterprise infrastructure, software, block chain technology and other sectors. Startup ecosystem in Austin, Texas is boomingBold founders grounded in reality whom people want to follow make successful entrepreneursWhen too many people invest in a party round, it means that nobody really wants to lead with convictionEntrepreneurs feel an emotional connection with angel investors when they pitchNon-profit: Anti-Defamation Leauge
26/01/202132 minutes 20 seconds
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Catch the attention of investors with non-obvious insights

Gaurav Jain, co-founder and managing partner at Afore Capital, describes the process of leading pre-seed and seed stage investments.  He gives examples of founders of startups with unproven business models and what convinced him to invest. Think non-linear to create non-obvious insights like Kyle Vogt, founder and CEO at Cruise AutomationLearn by playing in the field not by operating in vacuumVelocity of fund raising has increased because of remote workOnce a VC commits you can't fire the investor nor can the VC un-invest in a startup. The VC - founder relationship is long-term lasting more than 10 years.Non-profit: American Civil Liberties Union
19/01/202131 minutes 37 seconds
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Show your personality on video calls

Steph Khoo, a venture capital investor at NYCA Partners, shares examples of  innovative fintech startups changing the global financial systems. She talks about her due-diligence process, and how the changes caused by COVID are permanent. Fintech 2.0 is about re-bundling financial servicesAfter COVID, connecting with people and have meaningful discussions is a lot easierPrevention instead of cure is the new trend in insurtech Non-profit: Welcome Table at Xavier Mission 
12/01/202125 minutes 23 seconds
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Create unfair advantage with novel technical insights

Ashmeet Sidana, chief engineer and founder of Engineering Capital, invests in startups with technical insights. He gives authentic examples success and failure stories from his portfolio of 20 startups. Education transformed his life starting in a rural village in India to the Silicon Valley. Great entrepreneurs are good at storytellingVC is a service business. It is the job of a VC to make it easy to work with founders. Startups need access to public market at earlier stages. It will democratize gains in market cap of startups.    Non-profit: Educational institution - high school
05/01/202130 minutes 47 seconds
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Visionary entrepreneurs have the x-factor

Ullas Naik, Founder and General Partner at Streamlined Ventures, shares his journey as investor on Wall Street and later starting a venture capital firm in the Silicon Valley. He has invested in >100 startups including 30 companies valued at >$100 mil. He gives real-life examples of founders with a bold vision and the perseverance for execution. Extreme scale businesses are led by opinionated entrepreneursStartups have a team of hackers and hustlers, product visionaries and technology wizardsThe advantage of a solo capitalist is rapid decision making without the need for consensusOut of 100 startups more than 30 startups are valued at >$100 mil. and 3 are valued at >$1 bil.Non-profit: Naik Family Foundation
29/12/202032 minutes 57 seconds
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Clarity of thought combined with empathy is a winning combo

Vinay Iyengar is a venture capital investor at Two Sigma Ventures based. His describes his investment thesis focused on the infrastructure for creative work. He talks about lessons learned in empathy through his failed startup and the evolution of remote work. Empathy for the customer, clarify of thought and humility are qualities of greatness in entrepreneursVenture capital business will always be human relationship basedDemocratizing access to information will increase diversityNon-profit: Equal Justice Initiatives
15/12/202033 minutes 32 seconds
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Growth with negative margins is dangerous

Mar Hershenson, founding managing partner at Pear Ventures, shares her journey starting as a successful entrepreneur to launching a VC firm with Pejman Nozad. Her authentic description of failure in a startup she founded highlights her lessons as a CEO. Founders grow professionally with the company and by consistently investing in themselvesPivoting a business for the right reasons can open doors to new opportunitiesTony Xu, CEO of DoorDash, convincingly explained why the company will be successful  which influenced investorsGrowth growth growth with negative unit economics is dangerousNon-profit:  Harvey Mudd College, Board of Trustees
08/12/202031 minutes 28 seconds
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Build products to serve the middle class

Sydney Thomas at Precursor Ventures talks about founders who truly care. She describes how she wants to work with inspiring entrepreneurs. She invests in startups to build the middle class. Entrepreneurs relate better to people like themselves, but not with career VCs who live a very different lifeThe true power of entrepreneurship is in creating long-term sustainable economic development in local communities.Depth of understanding the customer's needs is important. Non-profit: Public Safety, City of Oakland
01/12/202031 minutes 43 seconds
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Decision analysis is a high-quality conversation leading to clarity of action

Clint Korver, co-founder and managing director of Ulu Ventures, talks about managing uncertainties in venture capital investments. He describes his Vulcan mind-meld market mapping session with examples of both successful and failed startups.Decision analysis process combines data and intuition to minimize cognitive biases and reduce riskUncertainty is common in venture capital: only 2.5% of 4000 startups generate great returnsVCs are biased. They ask male entrepreneurs about upside potential and women about downside risk mitigation.Non-profit: Grinnell College
17/11/202031 minutes 7 seconds
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How does an investor form gut feel?

Sheel Mohnot, co-founder and general partner at Better Tomorrow Ventures, has a gut feel about the founders. He gives an insider view using examples of fintech investments.  The role of a VC is a combination of a management consultant and a psychotherapistFintech started in 2014 and is still in the early days of innovationAt the pre-seed and seed stage venture capital investments team is most important Non-profit: Curry Without Worry
10/11/202026 minutes 9 seconds
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Latin America is a huge market

Consuelo Valverde, founder and managing partner at SV Latam Capital, supports startups focusing on Latin America. She describes using real-life examples how decision analysis helps her evaluate founders and their ambitious ideas. Invest in ideas generated by brilliant minds looking to transform the world in some meaningful way is excitingWhen faced with uncertainty of markets and uncertainty of new technologies, what remains constant is the leadershipSome startups don't need to  expand the large market in Mexico, some others are well positioned to scale globally Non-profit: San Francisco CASA
03/11/202025 minutes 40 seconds
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Seek honest feedback from investors

Ankur Jain, Founding Partner at Emergent Ventures, describes how transformation through self-reflection shaped his investment philosophy. He empathizes with the challenge entrepreneurs face while seeking honest feedback from investors. Decision from first meeting to investment takes 6 weeksTransform your life with inner engineeringEntrepreneurs face many pessimistic questions from everyone but optimism needs to prevailNon-profit:   Isha Foundation
27/10/202026 minutes 18 seconds
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Limited partners influence change from the top

Lo Toney, founder and managing partner at Plexo Capital, takes us behind the scenes of a venture fund to show a limited partner's perspective. He shares his vision for a flywheel effect from the top to increase diversity. A hybrid VC firm investing both in emerging VC funds and in early stage companiesHow can limited partners influence change diversity trends starting at the topNow there is a willingness to change trends in venture capitalNew VCs must learn to transition from  investor to fund manager Non-profit: HBCUvc
20/10/202036 minutes 15 seconds
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Immigrant entrepreneurs must overcome unique hurdles

Manan Mehta, founding partner at Unshackled Ventures, shares his personal journey as the son of immigrants and how he built a venture capital firm with a mission to support foreign born founders. His authentic stories describes unfair barriers and his solutions to overcome them. Great teams are also self-aware on their blind spots The only VC with immigration attorneys as partnersHamilton - Immigrants (we get the job done)Non-profit: Playworks
13/10/202031 minutes 2 seconds
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Prepare your investor for the conversation

Paul Arnold, founder of Switch Ventures, explains data driven investing in venture capital. He gives real-life examples of founders sharing information to prepare for a deeper discussion in the first meeting. Quants are good at beating the average but algorithms cannot beat the best in the gameThere is no magic formula for success in startupsGreat entrepreneurs have high quality of insights on a businessPrepare the investors by sharing a white paper or a slide deckNon-profit: Commonwealth Club
06/10/202018 minutes 18 seconds
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Tell the story of "why" to excite investors

Shruti Gandhi, founder of Array Ventures, describes her investment process in detail. Using specific examples of first meetings with founders, she explains what she likes to see in early stage startups.  Smart founders figure out a way to expand market sizeWhy are you solving that problem and why are you excited about it?25% of founders backed by the firm are women and 50% are immigrantsPledge: Array Ventures dedicates $1 million to black and Latinx founders
30/09/202023 minutes 32 seconds
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Meet a rare black VC

Fred Groce, Principal at Storm Ventures and founder of Blck VC, shares authentic stories of startup investments that succeeded and failed. He describes how to identify the X-factor in a founding team. He also talks about his initiatives to double the number of black VCs.Diversity is a competitive edge in the market for organizationsTech is not an inclusive industry. VCs are at the day-zero of company formationDistilling ideas into its purest form is a skill not a lot of people haveNon-profit: Black VC
25/09/202030 minutes 10 seconds
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Ethos to keep pushing things forward is a rare quality

Ravi Belani, founder of Alchemist Accelerator, talks about entrepreneurship for all. He gives examples of technical founders building software businesses LaunchDarkly and Rigetti. Alchemist looks for what can go right and how big can the business be more than dwelling on what can go wrong.  Both Steve Jobs like charismatic vision and Steve Wozniac like behind the scenes execution are important in a founding teamQuestions we ask are around: why now, why you and how big.Good accelerators are strong signals to attract venture capital investorsNon-profit: City of Dreams
16/09/202027 minutes 36 seconds
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Startups in underdog cities are looking for good investors

Pat Matthews, founder & CEO at Active Capital, walks through his investment decisions with three startup stories. Learn from his career as a pioneer in B2B SaaS entrepreneur in the late 90s and an active angel investor in 100+ startups before he became a full-time VC.  Startups in underdog cities need investors with experienceLeading with your strength is a competitive advantageWell crafted cold emailNon-profit: Big Brothers Big Sisters
09/09/202025 minutes 40 seconds
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Design a process to avoid investment biases

Kamal Hassan, founding partner at, explains how the power of his network helps avoid negative effects of biases in investing. The 2 year old firm has invested in 116 startups in 30 countries. He treats founders the way he wishes he was treated when he was an entrepreneur.  Inside access through  business networks helps identify best startups and encourages good behavior to maintain reputationIndex approach outperforms in seed stage investingAdvisors assist in referencing startup teams and add their expertise adds valueNon-profit: INSEAD
02/09/202030 minutes 41 seconds
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Build solutions for a large future market

Ian Rountree, founder of Cantos Ventures,  shares an insider view on his 40+ investments focused on frontier technology. He talks about the experience of angel investing as a better education in venture capital than an MBA degree. Startups with defensible technology, large future market potential + a team that can execute is the magic formula.Errors of commission is ok but errors of omission hurt a lot. This leads to fear of missing out.Propitiatory technologies must lead to network effects or new business models.Frontier of innovation will create economic value in legacy industries.Non-profit:  Open Door Legal.
26/08/202025 minutes 28 seconds
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Entrepreneurship liberates you to solve impactful problems

Naeem Zafar shares his experience as a CEO and mentor to founders. He talks about recruiting early employees, motivation of A-players, and the liberating power of entrepreneurship.Make emotional deposits well before you ask for favors from your network.A-players look for impact of solving an important problem. Selling a noble act of listening, analyzing, connecting the dots and suggesting solutions. Talent development is an important skill for a CEO.Non-profit: The Indus Entrepreneur. 
19/08/202023 minutes 31 seconds
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Increase diversity in entrepreneurship, now

Miriam Rivera talks about the lack of diversity in the industry, and her investments with a mission to promote entrepreneurship among women and people of color. She shares how her husband is the best partner both at home and at work.   9% of VC decision makers are women. Unfairness hurts the industry. We need change.She doesn't hide the ball. She openly discusses risks with entrepreneurs and highlights areas they can improve.Decision analysis brings transparency to the due-diligence process. Non-profit: Kauffman Foundation
12/08/202029 minutes 51 seconds
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Devotion to your business will convince skeptics

Rajeev Madhavan, founding partner at Clear Ventures, shares his career as a 3x successful entrepreneur. He shows how an entrepreneur changes his skeptical view and convinces him in 20 minutes.A great VC is a coach who can pick the right entrepreneurs and shows lessons from past experiences.Spark in the first meeting is the best and only chance to convince a venture capital investor.The ecosystem in the Silicon Valley is stronger than ever. Founders face fewer biases and easily connect with customers, employees and many early believers.Non-profit: Akshaya PatraMore details at
05/08/202029 minutes 23 seconds
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Be bold, compete against incumbents

Rick Zullo talks about bridging the digital divide in legacy industries by supporting founders with experience. Authentic relationships with industry experts is important, not just a rolodex of CXOs. Highlights: Industries with complex problems need  cataclysmic changes with tail winds lasting many years.Founders with  experience in industries like employee benefits, staffing, senior care, and healthcare understand intricacies much better than a typical tech entrepreneur.The pitch is not as critical founders think it is. Honesty, self-awareness and having a network are more important.Future of entrepreneurship is more geographically dispersed, not concentrated in hubs like the Silicon Valley.Non-profit: Victory Over CancerMore details at
05/08/202028 minutes 37 seconds
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Modernize financial infrastructure to democratize prosperity

Kat Utecht, partner at Core VC, shares her adventurous journey of starting a VC firm on the east coast and expanding to the west coast. She describes how her startup investments improve the lives of average Americans.Highlights:  Mission-driven investing is  popular everywhere including in the Silicon Valley.Insider view on a bold bet in healthcare while political changes were creating uncertainties.How partners in multiple locations collaborate.Non-profit: Sky's the LimitMore details at
30/07/202030 minutes 22 seconds
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Future of healthcare needs more empathy and technology

Scott Barclay shares insights on when to play an active role as a venture capital investor. He explains with examples how engagement with an entrepreneur starts and eventually disproves or strengthens his conviction in a business idea. Highlights: The right VC:CEO fit is magical.A good investor does not impose his alpha role but is always ready to intervene and lead.Become a student of economics and learn about unrelated markets to sharpen your investment acumen.Entrepreneurial journeys are broad ranging. Founders come in many shapes and forms. Hot referrals and cold-emails are both  good leads.Non-profit: Ecumenical Hunger ProgramMore details at
30/07/202031 minutes 40 seconds
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Lessons from >100 angel investments

Gokul Rajaram shares specific characteristics he looks for in entrepreneurs who range from former coworkers to founders he never met in-person. He describes his unique journey in the Silicon Valley leading product development at Juno, Google, Facebook, Square and Doordash. Highlights: The determination to move heaven and earth to solve a problem is an important quality in entrepreneurs.Founders have unique non-obvious insights about the market.Customer love for a product convinces angel investors more than charisma during a pitch.Angels want to give back to the community and learn from entrepreneurs.Non-profit: Second Harvest Food BankMore details at
30/07/202031 minutes 41 seconds
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Welcome and quick intro

Listen to the podcast for entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas. Post reviews and ratings on Apple Podcast to help entrepreneurs find this podcast. Come here to listen to relatable, insightful and authentic stories from venture capital investors and other early believers.  I am your host Gopi Rangan. Once a week, we will talk about startups, investments, bold ideas, tech and the future.  Share comments and subscribe to the podcast. 
18/07/20203 minutes 15 seconds